Palva Lab
group members
Satu Palva Group — Systems- and cognitive neuroscience
Satu Palva group investigates the functional relevance of neuronal dynamics and large-scale neuronal interactions in human cognition.

In humans, attention, working memory, and consciousness are fundamental cognitive functions, which are serial, introspectively coherent, and have a limited capacity of a few objects. Neuronal processing underlying these cognitive functions is, however, distributed across the brain and over time. The central goal of our group is to understand how local neuronal oscillations, their large-scale interactions and dynamics are related to fundamental cognitive functions. Current theories posit that slow oscillations from delta (1-4 Hz) to alpha (8-14 Hz) bands are related to attentional, executive and control functions, while faster gamma (30+ Hz) band synchronization is related to bottom-up processing of sensory information. We aim to test this framework at the level of large-scale neuronal interactions. Our central hypothesis is that cross-frequency interactions among slow and fast oscillations allow the integration and coordination of neuronal processing across cortical hierarchy.

Both oscillations and behavior also fluctuate in a scale-free manner over several seconds to minutes. This behavior is indicative of critical neuronal dynamics that is thought to enable flexible reconfiguration of behavioral performance and neuronal processing. Our aim is to obtain evidence for this framework and test whether neuronal scaling laws behavior predict scaling laws in behavioral performance.

Many brain diseases are associated with cognitive deficits. We aim to investigate whether aberrant neuronal dynamics and connectivity predict cognitive deficits in neurodevelopmental diseases such as in ADHD and depression.

Our central approaches are to record neuronal activity from human subjects by magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) and from epileptic patients with intracranial EEG (iEEG). We then use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS) to test the causal role of identified neuronal activities and interactions in coordinating behavioral performance.

Satu's group members

Director
group member photo
Satu Palva, PhD, Docent, Academy Research Fellow

E-mail: satu.palva(@)helsinki.fi, Tel: +358 50 4484 742

[TUHAT] [Google Scholar] [LinkedIn] [ORCID]
Postdoctoral researchers
Kayeon
Kayeon Kim, PhD Kayeon obtained a PhD in Psychology at Seoul National University (2015), South Korea, where she studied single cell activity in V1 and eye movement initiation. She then worked with Catherine Tallon-Baudry (ENS, Paris) as a postdoctoral researcher (2015-2017), investigating correlations between neural spikes and heartbeats. She joined the group in September 2017 and is investigating cross-frequency synchrony in animals and humans with intracranial signals.
[Google Scholar]
Santeri Santeri Rouhinen, PhD Santeri Rouhinen has a doctoral degree in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Helsinki. He is studying visual attention and working memory with MEG and EEG. He is also using TMS-EEG to study brain stimulation.
[TUHAT] [Google Scholar]
Felix Felix Siebenhühner, PhD Felix obtained his MSc in physics at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. He then researched abnormal neuronal synchrony in schizophrenia with Danielle Bassett in Santa Barbara, USA, before joining our group in 2012. In his doctoral research, he investigated cross-frequency synchrony in human MEG and SEEG data and graduated in 2019. He is now part of he Virtual Brain Cloud project and analyzing resting-state data.
[TUHAT] [Google Scholar] [LinkedIn]
Mathias Voigt Mathias Voigt, PhD Mathias obtained a PhD in auditory neuroscience from Hannover Medical School, Germany, where he studied the mechanisms behind neuroprosthetic stimulation of the rodent auditory cortex under the supervision of Prof. Andrej Kral. He joined our group in September 2019 to establish the mouse in vivo electrophysiology lab.
[Researchgate] [Google Scholar]
PhD students
Hamed Hamed Haque, MSc Hamed has a BSc in psychology from International Islamic University Malaysia and an MSc in cognitive neuroscience from the University of York.
He joined as a doctoral student in 2015 and investigating the neural correlates and mechanisms of visual perception and visual working memory using EEG and MEG.
[TUHAT] [LinkedIn]

Contact: All group members can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi.